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Transnational Information Ecologies: Hyperlink Networking among Right-Wing Online Media

News from Oct 19, 2020

A new study shows the emergence of a transnational information ecology as right-wing online media use hyperlinks not only for networking among themselves, but further, to enter a broader public sphere.

Weizenbaum Institute researchers Annett Heft, Curd Knüpfer and Susanne Reinhardt alongside Eva Mayerhöffer (Roskilde University) investigated how alternative right-wing digital news sites (RNS) are interconnected on both a national and transnational scope. The study specifically focussed on indentifying common reference points used within a transnational information ecology. Therefore, the authors analyzed hyperlink networks among RNS in six Western democracies: Austria, Germany, the United States, Great Britain, Denmark, and Sweden.

The results show the emergence of a transnational information ecology on the right with some national differences. The US in particular play a special role in the findings as US-American sites function as hubs for transnational connections of European RNS. The findings suggest that the right-wing information ecology is not an insulated alternative sphere but moreso strives to enter a broader information environment through links to established news sites.

The paper "Toward a Transnational Information Ecology on the RIght? Hyperlink Networking among Right-Wing Digital News Sites in Europe and the United States" was published in the International Journal of Press/Politics and can be found online here.

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